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Jeff Cummins at 20 !

1969 My fascination for all things 'media' began as a schoolboy whilst
entering an art competition, (one of 30,000 entrants) staged by UK
TV show 'Magpie'. My caricature of soccer hero George Best won
first prize and a trip to their London studios to receive my prize live
on air. Heady stuff and instant celebrity back home in North Wales!

1970 With this whiff of glamour and the bright lights of London
fresh in my nostrils, I vowed to return and conquer! But first,
Art School. Inspired by the work of George
Underwood, George Hardie and design group, Hipgnosis I spent the
next three years honing my skills and fuelling my passion for record
sleeve design and Guinness.

1974 Arrived in London and joined a marketing company as junior graphic
designer and coffee maker extraordinaire. In my spare time I would
illustrate, (usually heroes of the time; the Beatles, Rick Wakeman
/Yes, Bruce Lee etc...). I sent a copy of one Bruce Lee illustration to
the editor of 'Kung Fu Monthly' Felix Yen, alias publishing
entrepreneur Felix Dennis, (now Chairman of his self-made empire
the Dennis Group). Felix published the painting as the first of three
Bruce Lee posters offered exclusively to the readers of KFM and he
paid me money! My first freelance gig!

(Some years later, Felix commissioned an illustration of pop star
Adam Ant for the cover of a 'fanzine'. On the day of publication I
received a call followed by a writ from the Adam Ant camp, who
were not impressed with the fact that I 'based' the painting around
a photograph taken by their official photographer. Felix 'smoothed
things over' and the matter was dropped. Only recently did I
discover that the photographer in question was my mate
Allan Ballard! Oops!).

1976 The Marketing company was in trouble and I became unemployed.
This gave me the necessary impetuous to go it alone. My personal
blitz of London record companies and publishing houses began.
On one such raid I managed to get an interview with Brian Brolly at
the offices of Paul McCartney. To my surprise and delight Brian
commissioned the 'Thrillington' album sleeve there and then.
He then introduced me to Storm, Po and Pete at Hipgnosis, who
would art direct and George Hardie who would design the Graphics!
Hogs Heaven man!

'Continued to work with Hipgnosis, visualising and illustrating for
such luminaries as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Moody Blues and Peter
Gabriel. By the end of that first year Paul and Linda McCartney
commissioned the painting for 'Wings Over America' which propelled
me into the international arena. Calls came in from all over the
world and life became very interesting indeed!

Today, my work is as diverse as the briefs I receive. I develop characters for corporate identities, packaging, childrenswear, and TV. Occasionally illustrate and paper engineer children's books, (including the design and engineering of 'Sindy's' carousal-doll's house for Hasbro)! I was invited and honoured to paint a portrait of Linda McCartney for Linda McCartney Foods. (I'm a veggie, have been for more than twenty years. Don't forget; meat is murder folks!). Currently I am working on concepts for children's television,
still designing CD covers and continue to crave the creative challenge!

   

 

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